The Town of Ladysmith grew by an estimated 5.3 per cent over the last five years, according to the 2021 census. Here are a few highlights the town pulled from the data:
-Ladysmith’s population is now 8,990, up 453 residents since 2016. The 5.3 per cent growth rate over five years is down slightly from the 2016 census (7.8 per cent), but higher than the 2011 census (5.1 per cent).
-Ladysmith now has 4,079 private dwellings, 3,926 of which would typically be primary residences. A primary residence is the home you live in and doesn’t include investment and/or recreational properties. Between 2016–2021 private dwellings were added at a rate of approximately 65 units/year compared to 38 units/year for the 2006–2011 period.
At the current 65 units/year, Ladysmith will have 4,251 units by 2025. However, to meet the ‘housing need’ for 2025, projected in the town’s Housing Needs Assessment endorsed by Council last year, it needs to add 85 units/year.
The census combined with the Housing Needs Assessment are currently being used to inform growth scenarios for the new Official Community Plan (OCP), according to the town.
The 2021 census population and dwelling counts also provide an opportunity to compare projections in Ladysmith’s current OCP, adopted in 2003. The OCP estimated a range of 8,741–16,645 for Ladysmith’s population in 2020 and 4,856–9,247 homes.
“The Local Government Act requirement for all local governments in B.C. to prepare and consider a housing needs assessment every five years means this data will be updated more regularly and help inform council’s decision-making,” reads a news release from the town.
More detailed 2021 census data is expected to be released over the course of this year, including data on housing affordability (including the number of households paying more that 30 per cent of their gross income on housing).